Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sept. 18: The Lies We Are Told....


Well,  not to worry. This story hasn't been important enough to make the irving press. Anyway, in this election time the politicians have more urgent issues to discuss - like developing fracking......

This should be a major issue in the New Brunswick provincial election. Nobody's even mentioning it.
This has  the seeds of World War Three.


NB - Notice that one of the reports quoted in this article from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. As editors at The Guardian know, this is a propaganda outfit based in Britain, operated by the Syrian opposition, a propaganda house aimed at the Syria government, and subsidized by the U.S.
Shouldn't The Guardian editors have mentioned that?

You will never see this story in the irving press.


Most countries use torture. As it happens, I once taught with a man from the French army who happily showed photos of prisoners he had tortured. The U.S. is almost certainly the world's biggest torturer. But almost all armies have used it.


Funny thing. I've often seen patriotic war movies. But I've never seen one showing our side using torture.



We are barely beginning to see the hordes of refugees being created by the wars of American capitalism


No need for New Brunswickers to worry about climate change. The Liberals and Conservatives won't even mention it.

Gee!  Here's a story that hasn't much made the news in Canada. (And not at all in the irving press. But here we are - handing out at least many, many millions to oil companies - you know, those companies that don't pay taxes. Oh, I forgot - they create jobs.....




Isn't it terrible the way we tax rich people? I mean, the really rich don't pay any tax anyway but, you know, it's the idea...like...sort of.... But I'm sure Mr. Higgs and his compassionate Conservatives will fix that.

The irving press wouldn't dare to run this story.



I cannot recall seeing this story in our local press. It's quite astonishing.


This is not as clear a read as it should be. I include because it mentions - if unclearly - something that I think is true. There is no 'left' in Canada. And that may explain the blandness of the current New Brunswick election.


Blaine Higgs of the Conservatives is, of course, very far right, though even that seems to have nothing to do with principal. He is simply an obedient, unthinking servant.

Of course, American bombs never kill babies.



We kid ourselves about what  nice guy Obama was compared to Trump. The reality is that Obama, like most presidents of the last couple of centuries was as brutal and murderous as they come. Trump is bad. But Obama, despite appearances, was not good.



The "victory" of the Iraq war was no victory. The war still goes on.


A reader wrote at the foot of my previous blog (Sept.15) that our news media, including even the CBC, are lying about the news. The reader cites the example of the CBC in its reporting of the news from Venezuela. Now, CBC journalists are among the best in the world when it comes to reporting. But, alas, it has lied about the news from Venezuela.

In reporting on the chaos in Venezuela, it has avoided telling the truth about the cause of it. The cause is not a socialist government in Venezuela. And it's not evil people - at least - not evil Venezuelans. It's been caused by the U.S. which has imposed crippling and impoverishing conditions on the country. It has no legal or moral right to do that. But it's doing it savagely, creating dreadful poverty and even starvation - just as it has to Cuba for almost seventy years, and for North Korea and many other countries.  Why?

U.S. oil bosses want absolute control of Venezuela's oil production - perhaps the largest in the world. What they don't want is for Venezuelans to control it for the benefit of the people of Venezuela. More broadly, the don't want any Latin American country to control its own resources. So far as American billionaires are concerned, everything in Latin America - mines, agriculture, oil - everything belongs to them.

There is every possibility that the U.S. is setting up Venezuela for an invasion- perhaps with Canadian help. I believe I can think of a Canadian oil player who would encourage that.

The CBC has assigned a very experienced reporter to cover this story from Venezuela.  The reporter is an intelligent one - but......well, it appears certain that the Trudeau government has leaned on the CBC to make sure it doesn't tell the whole truth.  And so far there's been not a mention of what this is really all about - the greed of the oil bosses, and the brutality of the U.S. in imposing starvation conditions.

I still think the CBC journalists are far the best that Canada has. But I also know from my broadcasting experience that even CBC sometimes lies. But think of where this lie can be leading.

When the current government of Venezuela got elected, the UN team sent to monitor the election reported it was a all honest and commendable. The American news media  (and some Canadian ones) reported it was wildly illegal. The 'wildly illegal' version became the standard verdict of the American news media. Of course. American big business wanted it that way.

So why is the Trudeau government ordering the CBC to give this false version?

  Consider this possibility.

Trump intends to invade Venezuela. But he needs a touch respectability in this. Trudeau needs a trade deal. Would Trudeau commit Canadian troops to make the American attack seems legitimate? And to make Trump grateful? You bet he would.

Canada wouldn't even have to be part of the original attack. It could play the role of a peacekeeping force once the elected leaders of Venezuela had been disposed of. We played that game before when the U.S. overthrew the elected government of Haiti, and Canada sent 'peacekeepers' to help impose an American puppet government on Haiti.
We, led by our news media, call Muslim militants terrorists. (I've done it myself.) You think they should? Okay.

 So how come western armies aren't called terrorists?

 Seriously. Ever since 1945 - and earlier - western military forces have repeatedly and deliberately murdered civilians by the millions. That was particularly notable in the bombing of North Korea, in the war in Iraq in which Britain and the U.S. killed something like a  half million children, and the war in Yemen where the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been starving at least hundreds of thousands to death - and it could hit the millions. There was the war in Vietnam in which children were shot, gassed, burned alive in numbers we have never been told. The killing of children and adult civilians is not something the West avoids. Indeed, it has always been a feature of imperial wars. Columbus introduced trained killer dogs to hunt down an kill the indigenous people of South America. Estimates are the British killed, starved or murdered some 350 million people, mostly civilians and children in building their empire. As late as the 1945 they deliberately starved way over a million innocent people to death in India.

All war is terrorism. So how come we only use the word for Muslims?

Oh, I know. It was those terrible people of 9/11.  Because they killed 3,000 Americans. Terrible. Actually the U.S. has killed thousands of times that, starting many, many years before 9/11. Israel has been sniping, firing into Palestinian territory to kill children and medics. Most of that doesn't even make the news.

News lies. Part of that is quite deliberate. Part of that is because us humans see the evil in others - but rarely in ourselves.

Very, very few of the news media rise above that. It's almost unheard of for a commercial news medium to be honest - and, like CBC, even the non-commercial ones occasionally lie. (The BBC is a good deal worse.)

The other side is always evil. Our side are - as the British would say - splendid chaps.

Fighting for their country. So if we start killing Venezuelans to make our oil barons richer, be proud. Onward, Christian soldiers!

And don't forget to go to the irving chapel this Sunday. - with the best preacher money can buy.

As I finished today's blog,  I was reminded of a man I once taught with, a veteran of World War 2. His regiment had just liberated a village in France. It was on Sunday and they celebrated with a church service at which the clergyman said they would win this war because God was on their side.

A local citizen, seated beside my friend, grinned. He said, "The German priest gave the same sermon just before they left this morning."

The first casualty - perhaps - is the Christian churches. In almost every 'Christian' war I have ever heard of, the clergy supported their country. British churches supported the horrible slaughter of Imperial days. American churches prayed for the soldiers who went out to slaughter native peoples. The mass murderer, Christopher Columbus, always had the blessing of the church.

There is surely something unChristian about starving children to death in Yemen, about building the most expensive war machine in world history, about targeting civilians by Christian bomber pilots, about endless warfare all over the world....

Have  you heard anything from the pulpit about it? If it was aborted babies, you would. That would be unChristian. But, apparently, by Christian standards it's okay to bomb, starve, napalm, spray agent orange children  and adult civilians by the millions. Why, here in New Brunswick, it's even okay to spray us locals with murderous chemicals. Figure you'll hear a sermon on that subject at the Irving Chapel?

No. I don't think so, either.

At the age of 16, I was going to train for the United Church ministry. At seventeen I was responsible for a mission church in Montreal's red light district. (The hookers and pimps would come, and I'd tell them all about life.)

Alas, I got kicked out of high school. So the ministry was out of the question. However, I still spoke many times in churches and synagogues, and led services.

But I no longer do. I look at the gutless and brainless posters advertising coming topics for the services. Will you get into  heaven? Does Jesus love you? Perhaps the world's greatest failure of the last two thousand years has been Christianity. Far from leading us to a more Christian world, it has led to mass murder, mass theft, mass greed.....

No. That's not what Christ was about. Nor was Christ about standing around and watching this silently. But now? Christian churches seem mostly about getting into heaven. And and going to them makes  you more respectable in your social circle.

There are some good ideas in the Bible. Too bad our Christians and their churches don't care about  them.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sept. 15: The failure of politics.


This could be dangerous for all of us.

Yes. Trump is blustering liar, an international bully with both friends and foes, an egomaniac...and the list goes on. In consequence, his popularity rating is sinking - fast. But he had begun three projects that were sensible. One was getting out of Syria. Two was paving the way to peace with North Korea. Three was doing the same with Russia.

Now, all three are back on the table - and two of them have the potential to take us into the horror of a world war - Syria and Russia, and both of those threats are being led by Trump. Why?

It's probably happening because his popularity is in free fall as his government falls into collapse in approaching mid-term elections. And the question is who it will fall to. Yes, it will most likely fall to  Democrats. But many, many Democrats are as dangerous as Trump. Obama has a nice image, but his enthusiasm for war and mass murder has been as strong as any Republican's.

The bizarre reality is that weakening Trump may make things even worse.


Yes. Climate change is happening. But climate change is not an issue in the New Brunswick election. That tells us something about New Brunswick.



Venezuela may be the richest oil country in the world. But it's economy is wildly out of control due to sanctions imposed on it by the U.S. government. Notice that the news report didn't mention that? That's a form of what's called fake news.

My paper didn't mention that Venezuela is in meetings with China - almost certainly economic ones. If so, this would be the second Latin American country to attack itself to China. (The other is Brazil). The U.S. empire is not healthy.


China's behaviour in this is indefensible. But note the tone of this story. Us western democracies, it says, find this reprehensible. Oh? Just how democratic is a country like the U.S. in which governments are bought by the wealthy?  And are we concerned at the mass killing of Muslims in China? How come nobody notices our mass killing of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria...?

Yes. It is terrible what China is doing. It is acting just like us. And that is not what the revolution was supposed to be about.


Canadian mining companies are as ruthless as anybody in the business.





There's a great deal of feeling that Obama was a better president than Trump, and that he represented a return to moderation. Alas! It's not true. The evils that afflict the U.S. have been characteristic of almost all  US governments since 1945 at least. And Obama is right up there with the worst.

And a Democrat victory, by itself, will mean nothing at all.


Long - but an excellent survey of the great, American myth that God has chosen America to rule.


Britain has accused to Russians as having been agents  to carry out chemical murders in Britain. Critics claim that the British government is lying. I have no idea what the truth is. I include the next piece not because I think it's true but because it's a version of the story we aren't getting from our news media. (Whether it's true I have no idea.)


Trump has no right, legal or moral, to get involved in the war in Syria. Indeed, he was recently close to pulling out. But, suddenly,  he seems to be changing his mind. Why? It could be because he has lately suffered large drops in popularity, drops so great that it puts him in trouble for the mid-term election of congress. It also has turned off key members of his own party - and American economic imperialists - who want a greater war in Syria.

And that war has every possibility of being the greatest - and last - war in history. With no winner.



Again, I have no idea whether these charges are true. But, most certainly, 9/11 became the excuse for American wars against Afghanistan and Iraq - with a spillover for Syria. So why has there not been a more believable study of it?



I don't find this alarming. I attended an elementary school in which a  large proportion of the students were Syrian, Italian, Polish - and so on. They spoke those languages at home. Why not? These were the ones they were accustomed to. But they all spoke English at school and, later in life, at home.

This reminds me of Canada's new political party founded by Maxime Bernier, once a contender for the Conservative leadership and easily far enough to the far, far right to attract the support of the National Post is concerned about a related 'problem'. He feels all immigrants should be required to share Canadian values.

Oh?  And what are Canadian values? Christianity? Actually, it's on  the decline. Conservatism? That's not what the polls are showing. Education for all? Then why do we make it impossible for most children to go to university? Language tolerance? That's hardly been a feature of Canadian life. Caring for the homeless? Hell, no. The greatest value of caring in Canada is making sure that billionaires don't have to pay taxes.

American values? Well, yes. I guess that might include the value of starving babies to death the Yemen - the murder of half a million children in Iraq...yeah! Let's hear it for American and Canadian values.

The movement of money from all the rest of us to the 1% is far advanced. 99% of us are getting poorer. That, by itself, means we are heading for disaster. But there's more.

The robot worker period is rapidly taking over. Thousands are being fired from their jobs to be replaced by robots. It will soon be hundreds of thousands. And the worst of it will fall on minimum wage workers. But don't be smug if you're a medium wage person.

The loss of hundreds of thousands of low wage workers means a huge loss in tax revenues and in spending - billions of dollars lost for all of us - except for the very wealthy who pocket all that lost wealth as a product of their greed. We are  heading into an economic and social disaster. (I'll return to this at the end.)

In 1945, we had the chance to put an end to war - and to greed and to exploitation. We formed the United Nations to create a new world. Then we allowed the super-wealthy and their cohorts to ruin it. We remember, on Nov. 11, those who served and died. But we forget everything we promised they had died for.


No. I will not be standing at attention on Nov. 11 with my hand on my heart and saluting the flag. I have more respect for those who served than that.

The New Brunswick election drones on, dreary and dismal.  Most candidates offer trivial ideas - as if an election were something like tidying up a room.

It's not like that at all. It's not about twitching some programme and improving it a bit. It's about going to the people with a clear statement of basic principles essential to the operation of a democracy. It's not about touching things up, rather like repainting scratches. It's about the basic values of what a candidate stands for - and then where that takes us in what has to be done.

I have seen no sign of that in any party.

This is a province being robbed blind by its wealthy. Hear any speeches about that? This is a province that some are planning to bring back fracking in defiance of all the danger this poses. Hear anything about that?

We live in a world that faces the biggest survival crisis ever known. (Experts tell us that. But we believe the wealthy whose intelligence ranks a great deal lower than their greed.)

We face an economic crash, soon, as a result of that greed, But I have heard of no plan to prevent that.

Listening to the speeches, I have no idea what the various parties stand for beyond tidying up our hospitals. I have no idea what their social values, if any, might be.

The Greens and the NDP seem to have some, vague idea about the problems facing us. But they don't want to upset the voters by mentioning them.

This is a socially and intellectually flaccid province with political parties to match. We live in a world that is crashing. And they want to fix it up with a dust cloth.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sept. 13:The fall of New Brunswick

American governments had decided there would be a World War Three even as World War Two ended in 1945. That's what the Korean war was supposed to be - the launching point of a war on China. But that and other wars to that end did not go well. Vietnam, for example, was a disaster.

Then came 9/11. That seemed a golden door to opening the way to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria.....  But this time, China and Russia are ready to block the way, and even to replace American influence in the region.

The British claim that Russian agents attempted to murder a Russian agent who lived in Britain, using a chemical poison, has been the opening act of creating an 'evil enemy' as justification for western wars.



Now follows the main theme - the evil of people who would use chemicals - and using that theme as the excuse for a war that has nothing to do with virtue and everything to do with greed. (In reality, it is the U.S., not all those 'evil' people, which has been quite lavish in its use of chemical weapons for 70 years and more.)






And all of this will promote the destruction of American freedoms that were lost on 9/11.


We are watching what could well be the start of World War Three. It's quite possible that Canada will be asked to 'do it's share' - though why we should share in a war that is only to benefit American capitalists is not clear to me.

Everything above has been known for at least twenty years. But most of it has never made our news media. And, for sure, it has not been in the irving press of this province.

It might also be telling us something about Trump. Perhaps the only successes of his rule have been the improvement of relations with Russia and North Korea. Now he's done a u-turn that could lead to a war unwinnable for anybody. Why has he done that?

Is it possible that the recent scandals in the government have made it possible for his enemies - many big business leaders and much of the Republican party - to force him under their control?

The leader of the Labour Party in Britain is being hounded by a campaign to paint him as an anti-semite. He isn't an anti-semite at all. But he has criticized the Israeli government - and that's a no-no. I have a lot of sympathy for Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party.


Many years ago, the government of Israel created an Israeli Lobby in the U.S., Canada, and other western countries. It's job was to destroy anyone in those countries who ever criticized anything Israel did. It did so by infiltrating Jewish groups like B'Nai Brith to ensure than none of them every criticized anything done by the Israeli government. That's why North American newspapers have never reported on the incident when Israeli aircraft carried out hours of bombing an American navy ship, killing large numbers of the crew. It lasted for hours. It was deliberate. But our news media were silent.

For many years in Montreal, I gave dozens of talks every year, largely to Jewish groups. Indeed, I spoke at almost every synagogue in the city as well as the Jewish library. For that matter, my social circle as largely Jewish.

But I was sometimes critical of Israel for its abuse of arabs, even those many arabs who were Israeli citizens, it's humiliations of them, and it's frequent thefts of Palestinian land. That didn't bother my Jewish audiences. But, oh, it annoyed the Montreal chapter of the Jewish lobby.

In one week, it got me fired from a radio station I had been broadcasting from for 30 years or so. It also got me fired from a Jewish library where I had been a monthly speaker for some fifteen years. In both cases, I was replaced by the leader of the Israeli lobby in Montreal - though he lasted only a few months in those jobs.

Trump's obvious lies have him crashing in the polls. Does this mean a crash in the midterm elections that will put the Democrats into effective power? Probably.

Does that mean an improvement? That depends on which Democrats get elected. Both parties are mired in profound corruption. Both parties are controlled  by very wealthy people who want wars for their own profit. There is, however, a movement within the Democrat party to change that. Fingers crossed.


The Chinese government practices bigotry against its own people.


That makes China a lot like us.


I vividly remember the Palestinian who had just completed his BA, and now had to return home. As he sat in my office, he was close to tears as he talked of the horror and hopelessness he was returning to.

I remember, in my high school teaching days, a teacher from France who enjoyed showing students photos of himself torturing Algerians. Most countries torture.


The mighty U.S. is going to rule the world?



As well, the hurricane threatens an oil pipeline. But I wouldn't worry. The leader of our peovincial Conservative party tells us that oil pipelines are the safest way to move oil. Right.


So, to a considerable degree, is Canada. Both are dictatorships by the very wealthy who also control almost all the news we are allowed to get.




The situation in Canada is not so bad as that in the U.S. But it's bad enough to keep a huge social class out of any chance for advanced education.  I grew up in a district in which going to university (or even finishing high school) scarcely existed. The people I grew up with weren't stupid. They were simply raised to believe that higher education was not for them. Indeed, the bare necessities of life for their families commonly depended on them leaving school to look for jobs in grade 9.

Add to that another serious problem in just about any university I have ever heard of. The professors, almost all of them, have no training whatever in how to teach. The very idea they should have such training doesn't exist. The result is many, many courses in which students merely memorize for the exam day - and then forget all of it.  Professors don't know how to design courses, how to deal with student difficulties..... Indeed, I knew many who saw teaching as an interference with their time to think great thoughts about  - whatever.

If you want to teach kindergarten, you need at least a year of training - probably more. In my experience, kindergarten teachers were the best teachers I ever saw. Professors were the worst.

We have a  university system that serves, largely, the already privileged, depriving huge numbers of our  young people of education. In  the more civilized world of The Netherlands, where I taught for a time,  university education was free - and with spending money added. Poor Cuba can offer free university education. Germany does. But the U.S. and Canada are back in the middle ages. We have billions of dollars in handouts for billionaires. But nothing for the young people who are our future.

Our young people have to learn how to think, how to analyze, how to make judgements. But most of what they get is how to memorize - and forget once the exam is over.


There's no need to believe this article. It's only by a scientist. If it were true, Mr. Irving would  have told us. (And he knows things because he had two years at Acadia University. Wow!)

The things we prefer to forget.



We, all of us, created the disaster that is Israel. Hitler did the killing. But we helped him every step of the way. We did nothing to help Europe's Jews. We sent them back to the death camps. Then we created Israel so the survivors wouldn't come here.

Israel is the product of the horror of the death camps - and of our willingness to let it all happen.

In my experience, Jews are the most charitable and social conscious people I have ever known. But those who survived the unspeakable horror of the Nazi period - and of our indifference to it - were refugees of a Judaism and a Christianity that allowed it to happen.

Israel has behaved with gross cruelty towards Palestinians. But I don't blame Israeli Jews for that. Their behaviour is not a product of Judaism. It is a product of Nazi Christianity - and ours.


Well, in fairness, a great many people on this earth think they are God's chosen people. Americans have, by and large, believed this for well over a century. And almost every religious denomination believes that it has the only true faith. I have known many a Christian who thought so.

The proportion of Jews who think so is not high - if you consider that this is supposedly the central belief of Judaism.  This world is full of true believers of every faith who chant - "I'm going to Heaven and you aren't."



The New Brunswick provincial election drones on; but the local newpapers don't have much to say about it. What can one say when Blaine Higgs,  the Conservative leader says he would do what the voters tell him to do?

For a start, there is no mechanism in place to enable the voters to tell him anything. And it wouldn't matter if there were because New Brunswickers voters are hopelessly uninformed to tell anybody anything.

As well, this all suggests that Mr. Higgs has no clue about what the role of the politician is. It is not to obey people. It is to put forward a view of what is necessary to bring maximum benefit to all the people. He is not an errand boy.
We could hire a real one for cheaper than Mr. Higgs and his Conservative flunkies. Of all the figures in this election, Mr. Higgs has established himself as the most clueless.

Not that the rest are much better. This is the shallowest election campaign I have ever seen. And the big issues of our day are not even being mentioned.

1. Our forest, and animals and us are being poisoned by glysophate spray. Our former medical officer warned us about this before getting kicked out. Now, it's just a billionaire who decides whether we're allowed to live.

2.  The wealthiest people in this province have been robbing us blind for fifty years and more. They don't pay income tax.  They pay little property tax. And they expect our government to 'help them out' with millions of dollars in handouts. We are daily getting poorer even as they get richer on our money.

3. We have a minimum wage (so we can keep our very rich happy with a source of really cheap labour), a wage so minimum that any normal life is impossible.

4. We face the biggest natural crisis in millions of years - the destruction of all life on the planet. We have, maybe, ten years to cope with it. Maybe not.

Most of the candidates have nothing to say on any of this.

We need the rich in this province to pay their taxes just as the rest of us do. There's no reason why people with only a tiny,  tiny percentage of the income should have should pay the bills for the very rich. We get no benefit whatever from that. And sooner rather than later, that is going to drive us into a financial crisis. The rich won't care any more than they cared when this happened in the 1930s. In fact, the 1930's enabled the rich to cut salaries, destroy unions....

Most of the parties want to improve literacy in our schools. Of course. That's easy and cheap to talk about. The reality is that this is a heavily illiterate province due to years of rule by the wealthy who don't like people to think. It's not just a school problem.

We have a crippling problem with most of our news media, especially our newspapers. As the organs of our wealthy, they combine to keep people in ignorance - and that makes it impossible to call New Brunswick a democracy. With few exceptions, New Brunswick governments have been patsies for the very rich. Democracy is a farce.

The treatment of the poor in this province is disgusting. They are treated as if they chose to be poor. They didn't. Poverty, as I learned in my childhood, is something you are born into - just as most of the very rich are not wealthy by ambition but, like Donald Trump, by birth.

Ever heard of a member of the irving family who had to work at minimum wage?

Frankly, given the wimpiness of what I have seen so far, I see no hope of this election benefiting anybody but the rich who are already living in clover.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sept. 11:The evil of our time.


The war heroes of today kill children - and adult civilians. And it's not an accident. This is the new face of war. It's quite deliberate.


In 1945 when I skipped school to join the crowds cheering that the European war was over, my attention was caught by a sign that said, "We've won the war. Now, we've got to win the peace." I was shocked. We'd won the war. Didn't that mean we'd won the peace?

No. It didn't. We threw all that away to destroy the structures we needed to win the peace. We betrayed all those who served and all those who died. And a leader in destroying it all has been the U.S.

This is the greatest evil the world faces. And it's not a racial evil. There is no nation whose population is evil - though our political leaders often say there is. No. The evil is greed. Pure greed.



This is the most dangerous moment the world has ever seen. The U.S. has staged a war in Syria on the side of what it calls 'rebels' and even 'freedom fighters'. Under international law, the U.S. has no right to be in Syria at all. And, anyway, the people it supports are the opposite of freedom fighters. Now, it is challenging Russia - which does have a right to be in Syria. This could be the  big - and final - war.


The 'freedom fighters' the U.S. is backing in Syria are Al Quaeda (who were responsible for 9/11) and a related group called ISIS. But in all these years of American interference and massive supplying and training of the people who killed some 3,000 Americans on 9/11, the Syrian people supported their government.  It's amazing how much our lying news media can cover up.

Our irving press, of course, does not have this story.


This is in the general category of fake news. Russia is doing in Africa exactly what the British and Americans have been doing for over a century. But notice that The Guardian story doesn't mention that part of it?

Gwynne Dyer will be speaking at the University of Prince Edward Island. So, of course, our irving press  hasn't mentioned it.


A huge issue which is crashing down on us - now - is automation of the work force. Along with climate change, it is the greatest challenge facing us - which is why the Liberal and Conservative parties of New Brunswick, now in mid-election, aren't mentioning it.

They aren't mentioning climate change, either.


Nice. But it ain't happening in most of the U.S. - or in Canada.


But our chambers of commerce will have no trouble putting hundreds of thousands - and more - out of work with automation.


Well, luckily, we don't have to believe this. After all, Mr. Irving , our oil billionaire, thinks its quite safe to run more pipelines and to restore fracking. And he'd know. I mean, he actually got almost half a BA at Acadia University. And our Conservative leader, Mr. Higgs, used to work for Mr. Irving. So there.




Can the U.S. defeat Russia in a conventional war? Well, it can't defeat Afghanistan. It couldn't defeat Vietnam. And all its help is leading to a defeat of Yemen. And a war with Russia would certainly involve China as well.

And nobody can win a nuclear war.
Is this a case of Russia being an aggressor? Please. The U.S. and its allies have for years had troops in  countries neighbouring Russia. It has missiles along Russian borders. It was the U.S.  that planned and paid for the revolution in Ukraine.
The wealthy of Canada have long been advocates of privatizing schools. Indeed, in many provinces, small parts of the systems have already been privatized. But the reality is that privatization of education has proved a disaster in the U.S. Yes. There are some things (many things) that privatization does not do well.


Private ownership is a common cause of climate change. And private ownership devotees like Trump want to keep it that way. But there may be a better way to save ourselves.


And that, alas, brings us to the New Brunswick election.

The biggest problems facing New Brunswick are climate change, robotization of most of the work force which is going to  hit us very, very hard over the next twenty years, and the practice of the wealthy not paying taxes, either federally or locally. And that's without the urgent desire of the wealthy for government handouts to eke out their miserable multimllion dollar salaries that they don't pay taxes on. To that,  one could add  the lack of access to news since almost all news media in the province are owned by one person who is not anxious to share the news with anybody.

Alas! None of those problems is getting attention from either the Liberals or the Conservatives - and only rather timidly from the others.

And, certainly, none of those problems gets attention from the irving press. In fact,  the news pages of Section A don't even mention the election. No, the big stories are about a school site being selected, and two stories about chefs competing for jobs at Moncton's new concert hall/sports arena.

On the editorial page, the artist has his 20th or more cartoon about the Liberals overspending. Of course they are. How else can we operate schools and hospitals in a province milked dry by the wealthy? We are getting robbed blind.

Norbert Cunningham has a reasonable column that NB voters aren't crazy about any of the parties. Too bad he doesn't mention a big reason why. His newspapers keep the province in ignorance of all that is happening.

There is only one page of election news - all of it from politicians who have nothing to say. One party is going to restore a ferry service. Wow! Talk about reform. The Conservative leader says the Liberal premier is a friend of the carbon tax enforcer. Wow! Talk about evil!

Norbert - one reason that New Brunswickers don't know much about the election is that they don't get much news about it. The big news, ignored by the parties and the press, is that New Brunswickers have no clue about what the issues are.  Mix that with a population that has a long history of being sheep, and you get elections that mean nothing at all.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sept. 8: World war could be very, very close.


Gee! That's odd. Our local newspaper tells us that making the rich even richer benefits all of us. If that's true, New Brunswick must be a world leader in prosperity.


Well, the U.S. would know. It has been the biggest user of chemical weapons in the world.

This is a really serious situation. Trump has warned Russia that if it aids Syria in its attack on Idlib, then U.S. troops will attack the Russian ones. (He hasn't quite that clearly said it. But he has made such noises.) The problem is he can't do it without risking world war three - a nuclear one. And nobody would win that.

The reality is that the U.S. is an empire which has reached its limits. From here, it can only go downhill. It couldn't beat Vietnam. It  hasn't beaten Afghanistan despite almost twenty years of the world's most expensive army fighting a relatively small and poor group of Afghan rebels.

Will American capitalists recognize reality? I doubt it.

This is a powerful opinion piece by a man who certainly knows of what he speaks.  We have, from the start, abandoned all we should have learned from World War 2.  We went straight  back to our old habits as soon as that war ended - with the difference that the major players became Russia and the U.S.. And no, it was not a bad Russia and a good U.S. Both played the same old power games that had cause so much suffering and death and horror. That's why we, all of us, are still living in World War 2.


Our provincial press has rarely mentioned the war in Yemen. And, certainly, it has never mentioned our role in it.


And Canada is helping with training and weapons for the Saudis.

Another symptom of the very great danger developing in Syria.


Would the west's oil barons encourage such a war to retain their dominance in the region? You can bet on it.

The following applies to Canada as much as to the U.S.

The following is about a situation that is as serious in Canada - and much of the the world - as it is in the U.S.


I don't think we're likely to see a U.S. invasion of Venezuela because that could well provoke uprisings all over Latin America.  However, it is quite likely the U.S. will sponsor an uprising inside Venezuela.


Is this next item overdone? The language is overdone. But I suspect the story is not.



The Ukraine government is the result of a U.S. sponsored uprising. And Ukraine is now so pro-Nazi that very large numbers of its troops wear swastikas. Funny how the New Brunswick press (like most others) never mentions that.
Another story that hasn't made most of the western press.


And here's a most unusual item from a man who is certainly not a fan of Trump. He's to be taken seriously.


This is very, very dangerous - for all of us.


Well, who knows which version of this story is true? What we can know is that the use of gas would be only an excuse for manufactured anger and for intervention. The U.S., after all, is no virgin when it comes to poison gasses and mass killing of civilians.

But this is certainly true.


The real issue is not terrorism on any side. It is the determination of U.S. capitalists to control all of the middle east for their own profit.



Of major countries, which has the highest literacy rate? The U.S.? No. Canada? No. Britain? No.

It's Russia - which also has a far higher rate of high school completion than either Canada or the U.S.

It's not all the fault of our schools. As a former elementary school teacher, I know that large numbers of students don't want to read. And I know a major reason for that is that the parents, themselves, don't read. As in much of education, it's not the teachers who are the problem. It's the parents.

When I taught in Montreal, Jewish students topped the  provincial averages every year. But there was nothing genetic about it. Jewish children were encouraged by their parents and their society to read and to learn. Remember the biblical account of Jesus arguing with the rabbi in the synagogue? That sort of involvement was (and is) encouraged in Judaism. Not so in Christianity.

The situation in Syria is very, very dangerous - for the whole world. And the U.N. is saying nothing even though the U.S. has no legal right to be there in the first  place.


Where does Israel get the authority to ban a citizen of another country from visiting other countries?




And then there's the news of New Brunswick. This province is in the midst of a provincial election. Which means ain't nuthin' happenin'. It's like sitting in the sun in a dozey sort of way, and drifting in and out of sleep.

Oh, there are real issues. But the Liberals and Conservatives have no interest whatever in them. And the other parties seem a little shy about discussing them.

The great issue in in the real world is climate change. And yes, it will affect New Brunswick. In fact, it is affecting New Brunswick right now. We're talking about the destruction of all life on this planet. And the due date for an action to stop it could be as soon as ten years.

Yes. It's a world problem But we are a part of the world. We should be looking at things we need to do. But, on the contrary, the Conservative party is actually advocating fracking in this province. Actually, it rarely mentions even that. No point, after all, in getting the voters overexcited. No. The Conservatives just go dum-de-dum into the microphones. And the other parties seem to be too  polite to point out the insanity of what they're suggesting.

There is much to be done at the provincial level. How are we, in this province of wooden houses, going to cope if we get the wildfires that have hit so much of the rest of the world? How are we going to heat our houses without encouraging climate change?

A related issue is the power of the wealthy of this province (and the real backers of fracking). They own this province and its major political parties. Indeed, the leader of the Conservatives (and big fan of fracking) is the Blaine Higgs who is a former executive of the wealthiest family.

The Liberals have been opposed to fracking - but they are scarcely mentioning this in the campaign. Of course not. Someday, they hope to return to their happy days as rear-end kissers of the province's wealthy.

Another issue is the right of the wealthy to avoid paying tens of millions (and maybe much more) in income and property taxes - not to mention the right of the wealthy to expect expensive, multi-million dollar favours that make them feel good.

This is theft on a magnificent scale. It explains why standards of living have been going down for decades in Canada and most of the western world as most of the world's money goes into the pockets of the very wealthy - and stays there. Where will this take us to?  Utter chaos and financial collapse. That is the only possible result of 1% of the world's population stealing (yes, that's the correct word) stealing far the greatest part of what should be the wealth of all of us.

When will we see through this nonsense of handing money to the rich - supposedly because it benefits all of us? And how come we're still poor after more than a hundred and fifty years of doing this? (Today, the irving press has an editorial on our spending. As usual, it doesn't mention the cause of this is the mass theft by the wealthy and the maintenance of low salaries. Of course, we overspend. How can we do otherwise when the wealthy don't do their share?)

But fear not. You can live in New Brunswick and never, never hear about it. Irving columnist Norbert Cunningham has an article about this on the editorial page. But as usual, he doesn't mention the role of the wealthy in keeping us poor.

When do we take action against chemical spraying of our forests? We've had lots of warnings about the dangers of this to plant, animal and human life.

When are we going to recognize the meaning of robotization? Nobody knows how many jobs will be lost, but it's a safe guess that it will be tens of thousands and probably much more - and soon.

When are we going to deal realistically with poor literacy? The Conservatives make noises about improving the teaching of reading in our schools. But that won't even begin to deal with the problem. It's not simply a school issue. It's a social one.

It's also a failure of our print news medium to print anything worth reading. The biggest story in today's irving press Canada and World Section is - wait for it - about a fishing lodge for the rich that is going broke.

So far, the election proposals of the Liberals and Conservatives - and to a degree the other parties - are shallow. They convey no sense of the problems we face. Wake up, New Brunswickers. You have to get serious about dealing with your problems. The Liberals and Conservatives couldn't care less about you. And the other parties are more than a little timid.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Sept. 6:The big news is.....

......Our local irving chapel will have two ministers this Sunday. Count them. Two. And both have Doctorates in Divinity. That's real class. Jesus always had to make do with a lousy hillside or something. And he had no religious degrees at all. Our irving chapel is so much better. And I'm sure it attracts a higher class of Christian.


It's a good thing us well-informed people of New Brunswick know there's no such thing as climate change.

I include the next item not because it's truthful but because it illustrates fake news in action. This one is about the financial collapse of Venezuela and, according to the article, it is entirely the fault of the Venezuela government. There is no mention at all of the U.S. creating the crisis by imposing severe trade sanctions on Venezuela.


It's amazing what western news readers will believe. Trump says Syria and Russia intend to slaughter civilians in the final stage of the war in Syria. Western readers are, of course, shocked.

It does not occur to them that the deliberate murder of civilians has been standard practice in war since it was first introduced by Winston Churchill in 1920.

The U.S. deliberately killed men, women and children in Korea  by the millions. It did the same in the Vietnam war and in the more than 70 wars it has fought since 1945. It is now up to its ears in the deliberate starvation of children in Yemen. But we don't read much about that, do we?

There is no doubt that the risk of civilian deaths in the final stage of the Syrian War is severe. That's a reason why the U.S. should not  have created that war in the first place. (The Syrian rebels exist only because the U.S. armed them to create the war in the first place - and the people it armed were the same ones the western press had been calling terrorists.)

But most western readers will buy Trump's questionable virtue. It's the old game of making our side 'good guys', and the other side 'evil'.




And it's companion piece....




This isn't much (any) of any issue in the New Brunswick provincial election.
And if New Brunswick politicians don't care about, it can't really be happening. In fact, the Conservatives want fracking - though they don't much like saying so). So, obviously, there's no problem and no climate change.
Here is a sample of what is called a philosophy of politics - a sense of what the goals of the people we elect should be. The Liberals and Conservatives have never really had such a philosophy. They exist to get elected - nothing else - which is why they kiss up to big money. The Greens and the NDP are only beginning to develop a philosophy.

Never believe the official unemployment figures.


Something we don't hear much about in our news media.

China suffered over a century of western interference and plundering. Now, it is a world economic miracle, and rapidly catching up to the U.S. Indeed, it is already exerting influence in the middle east and Latin America. Anyone who still believes that the U.S. is the future is  dreaming.   (Wake up, Justin Trudeau.)


Canadians died in Afghanistan. We shall remember them on Nov. 11. But what is it we should remember? We owe them more than the usual patriotic phrases. Certainly, we should not hear speeches about how they were sent to defend Canada. We told them that they were sent, and were serving Canada. We owe them all the thanks for that. But we also owe them an apology. Afghanistan was no threat to Canada. Or anybody else. We lied to our soldiers. It was a war to satisfy American billionaires - nothing more.

The same was true of our bombing of Libya and our training of Syrian rebels.



Israel had no right to stop those boats, no right to steal their cargoes of medical supplies, no right to confiscate the boats, and no right to sell them. And the world had no right to just look on as this happened.

Now, to add insult to energy, the money from the sale of the boats will be given to Israeli settlers who have no right to have taken Palestinian land.
Sometimes I wonder about the NDP.



So, Israel, too, has been playing the game of arming Muslim 'terrorists'.


The New York Times published an op ed piece about Trump which is anonymous. Is it possible the Times has run an untrue story? I doubt it very much. That would be suicidal.

Is this an attack on Trump's policies? Not really. This is an attack by a person who supports, in general, Trump's policies - but thinks his methods are unwise.






The following is not a commentary on the news. But it is a reminder of reality.

It's from the film "The Great Dictator" by Charlie Chaplin. In it, Chaplin is a Jewish shopkeeper who, because of his similarity to Hitler, becomes confused with him - and finds himself as Hitler addressing a huge Nazi rally. And he then delivers a powerful, anti-Nazi speech.

This film was NOT well received by big business in most of the western world. Big business supported Hitler. It knew about the Hitler's assaults on the Jews. But it didn't care about that. To big business, Hitler and Naziism were the barrier to Soviet communism. Hitler, therefore, was a hero to big business. It happily kept Chaplin out of the U.S. for years after the war. And Henry Ford sent a giant photo of himself to Hitler - who kept it in his office until the U.S. was forced into the war.

Through the war and for years after, big business hounded Chaplain as a traitor so that it became impossible for him to live in the U.S.


Despite a mythology that was fostered after the war, Britain, the U.S. and Canada couldn't have cared less about Hitler's militarism and brutal treatment of the Jews. Their concern was that a west, then in deep recession, might be attracted to communism.

For Canada and Britain, that changed only when Hitler launched the war. And the reason it changed still  had nothing to do with Hitler's brutality. We, as a nation, went to war only because Britain feared that an expanding Germany might become a serious competitor to British big business.

In the papers of the time, of course, the message became that Hitler was evil. Which he certainly was. But that's not why they went to war. After all, when it came to  evil, it was  hard to match  the murderous behaviour of British big business and it's empire.

U.S. big business was in no rush to enter the war in 1939. Not at all. What it saw was a Britain getting defeated - so then the U.S. could begin snapping up the British Empire. But by the time of Pearl Harbour, U.S. big business wanted the British Empire in the Pacific, too, especially China and India, before Japan could snap it up. And, by the time it entered the war in Europe and the middle east, it feared Germany would snap up the British Empire in Africa and the middle east before the U.S. could get it. That's why the U.S. sent troops to  help  the British. In the end, the only winner of World War 2 was the U.S. And it has spent the years since then desperately trying to build a world, America empire.

But it's too late for that.

Forget the good guys and bad guys stuff. For the average soldier, patriotism and values were important. But the real decisions are made by the rich and greedy.

Is this a criticism of our veterans? Not at all. They served with the assurance that they were fighting for a better world.  Could anyone today, with a straight face, say that we have achieved that? Or even that we tried?

All the wars since 1945, like almost all the wars before that, have been fought to increase the markets and the wealth of billionaires. And we  have happily sent off young Canadians to die in them.

None of the above news and opinion appeared in today's Moncton Times and Transcript. Perhaps the most depressing item was the lead headline that New Brunswick voters are most concerned about  the waiting times for health care.

Now, I yield to none in my concern for health care. But is it the major issue in this election? We are on the edge of a climate disaster that could mean the end of the whole planet. There's no concern about that?

Of course not. People who read only the irving papers are deliberately kept in ignorance of what's happening in this world.

The only other election news on front page is that the candidates for office include a retiree, a sawmill operator, and a barber. Well! That was something I needed to know.

Two pages of election news in the middle of the first section don't tell us much more. The only item that shows some reality is the NDP promise to offer free college tuition.

Where oh where on any page is the statement by any party of what it's values and priorities are? The NDP promise is at least a hint. But we need to know the values of the people who are running.

Chris Morris, who seems to be a permanent op ed feature for the irving press, hits on a theme she has hit before. New Brunswick governments spend too much money.

No, ms. Morris. They don't. That's why we have problems with minimum wage, with much too high taxes, with health care, with education costs.


But ms. Morris doesn't like to talk about these things, does she? And maybe that's why she's become a feature writer for the newspapers owned by those rich people.

The irving news coverage of world news is even worse than it's coverage of local news. There is, virtually, no world news at all.

And all of this is why we get a first page headline that New Brunswick voters say the big issue of the provincial election campaign is health care. Of course. New Brunswick voters don't have a clue what the issues are -and the candidates aren't a whole lot of help. We face climate catastrophe - and soon. But the irving press tells them nothing about that. We face economic crisis - and soon - because the wealthy refuse to pay their taxes.  But none of the reporters and editors at the irving press seem to know that.  We also hand over many millions of dollars every year as gifts to the very wealthy. (Oh, we also pay for the bombing of ourselves and our forests with poisons as a favour to the rich.)

But voters don't have a clue about all this. Most of there news media - and all of the print division - never mention it. The result is that New Brunswickers have no idea what the issues of this election should be.

And it's a sure thing that the Liberal and Conservative parties aren't going to tell them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sept. 3: The New Brunswick election - endless trivia and boredom.

The story the irving press will never print. It's about how U.S. invasions and U.S. corporations (and Canadian ones) have made Guatemala a hell.



Another example of how the U.S. brings freedom and equality to the world.

We have ten years - maybe - to deal with climate change. What is your city doing?

Here's a prime example of incomplete reporting.


The tone of this story is that the U.S. is rising in divinely-inspired virtue to hold back the forces of Russian evil.

What's wrong with all that?

1. The current turmoil in the middle east began shortly after World War Two as American oil companies moved in to take control from the British.
2. The world's big killer for many years now has been the U.S.
3. The world's leader in the use of chemical weapons has been the U.S. Check out agent orange.
4. The war in Syria was begun when the U.S. set up a rebellion to overthrow the government of Syria. To do so, the U.S. supplied, armed and trained Muslim terrorists. The Syrian people, as a whole, supported the Syrian government.
5. The US presence in Syria, under international law, is illegal.
6. The Russian presence is quite legal since it was invited by the Syrian government.
7. This is the same U.S. that has been deliberately starving children to death in Yemen.

The real American concern is that Russia is establishing itself as a rival in the middle east. That makes it a major threat to the American empire.

And that means we face the threat of a world, nuclear war to make American oil barons happy.

It's amazingly easy to get away with this kind of lying. We happily murder millions and cheer for the returning troops as heroes. All we have to do is to label the enemy as 'bad' people. And readers just soak that up.
Despite Trump's confident tweets, most Americans are not getting richer.


Now, as this goes on, think of what kind of North America this will be in another ten years.

We know that robotization has become common. In Canada's steel city, Hamilton, for example, the number of human workers has been dropping dramatically. When that happens, workers get fired, and extra profits go into the pockets of executives and share-holders - profits that used to go to us in the form of salaries.

And, apparently, there's no end to the move to robotization - though the following item is more than I would have thought either possible or desirable.



I though it worth including this because it says what western news is hiding. The opponents of the Syrian government are the same people that the US has called terrorists.





The American empire in Latin America, shared by American and Canadian capitalists, has been a brutal one. Expect it to meet serious challenges in the near future. Already, for example, China is Brazil's biggest investor. Funny how that never made the irving press.




In 1945, we were going to created a wonderful world. And so we did - for a handful of billionaires.



...and Jesus wept.

....unless, of course, you go to the irving chapel which is specially blessed because it's owned by the wealthiest family in the province,  and preached at by only the most expensive of clergy.

The wonderful world of New Brunswick.

Sept. 4. The lead headline in the Moncton Times and Transcript is "Tories vow to cut surgery wait times in half."  Wow! So that's the great issue facing the province.

Well, that certainly downgrades any concern about the climate change that we have very, very limited time to deal with. No. Forget about it. The important issue facing us is cutting surgery wait times.

How is home heating going to deal with climate change? Using oil and coal are major causes of climate change. Who cares? Right?

How are we going to move people? How are we going to cut consumption of fossil fuels? Well! What the hell! We'll think about that in ten years. Maybe.

New Brunswick also has low wages. But the Conservatives wisely don't care about that.

Then there's the problem that big money in this province refuses to pay taxes either income or municipal. We get robbed of many, many millions of dollars every year by a wealthy class that also insists we pay off lots of its bills every year. But leader Blaine Higgs can live with that.

Oh, And he can also live with the low pay that New Brunswickers get. After all, he gets better.

Fearlessly, forward looking Conservative leader Higgs is also thinking of a provincial wild turkey hunt AND a change in the moose draw. Wow ! way to deal with the great issues! The Conservative party must be really thick with deep thinkers - so deep they could be mistaken for morons.

This is a real Mickey Mouse election.

There's an editorial on the issue of education problems in our schools. But it's less than well-informed. It's conclusion simply says that somebody should do something. No doubt.

Let's get real. Children in New Brunswick lack reading skills and other skills largely because this province just isn't much interested in readin' and writin'. I would certainly spend more money on the schools. But I would also like to see more effort in making New Brunswickers into a more thinking people. But I don't think Mr. Irving would like that.  (A thinking public might not support his favourite parties.)

The remedy (and the challenge) to make New Brunswick a reading and thinking province - especially including the parents. If you want reading and thinking chldren, you need to start with reading and thinking parents.  (But I don't think the irving press wants that.)

And it seems likely that Chris Morris is becoming a regular feature on the commentary page - a sure sign that she will never offend those people who are our  problems.

This time she attacks high power bills and what she calls the overpaid executives who assign them, and who get paid up to half a million a year. That may be excessive. Could she get the figures on how much irvings get in a year? No. I didn't think so.

Look. The problem of New Brunwick is that a few wealthy families hide many, many millions of dollars. This is tax money which means, in the final analysis, this is our money. When it is stolen from us we all suffer.

The Chris Morris' of this world will forever attack government officers. But they never look at the big-time thieves who cause our real problems.

World and national news? There really isn't any. We're watching an American war machine going wild in the middle east. That has us all on the edge of nuclear war. The U.S. is deliberately murdering children in Yemen. It is creating a level of poverty and suffering in Palestine that could well lead to major war in that region. Latin America, after more than a century of American imperialism that is as bad as the imperialisms of Britain, France, Spain is on the edge of chaos.

China is moving in on the American empire in Asia, and even in Latin America. Russia's Putin is actually playing the role of peacemaker - and umpire - in the middle east.

The American empire is probably past its best days. Canada is in extreme danger from a dying U.S.

But don't worry. The Irving press hasn't noticed any of this. Read the irving press, and you'll never have to think at all.